JWs are not a cult................

by vitty 54 Replies latest jw friends

  • trevor

    When one is a member of a group such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is not possible to be aware of the degree to which personal freedoms that are normally taken for granted are lost. The mind-control techniques used by the Watchtower Society are by no means unique. Part of the process includes creating an atmosphere of isolation from society and a policy of non-involvement in the running of many of the institutions that are a part of normal society. Many books have been written about cults and the way that those belonging to them are controlled and manipulated. Of course those under such control are always offended at the notion that they are involved with a cult.

    Steve Hassan, an ex-Moonie has written a number of books exposing the cult mind- control methods. He has devised a set of guidelines that any religion can be measured against to decide whether or not a particular sect can be deemed a cult.

    He divides the process of mind control into four basic categories. (1) Behaviour Control (2) Information Control (3) Thought Control (4) Emotional Control. Some of the methods used are briefly summarised below.

    (1) Behaviour Control

    includes, among many things, dictating to the members how they dress and groom themselves. How much time is spent on recreation and how much time is committed to receiving indoctrination. They are expected to ask permission before making major decisions. Information is distorted to make it acceptable to them and rigid rules are laid down. Individualism is discouraged and obedience is demanded.

    (2) Information Control

    includes discouraging the reading of non-cult literature and information that is critical towards the group. Keeping members too busy to have time to think clearly about what they are doing and insisting they have nothing to do with ex-members. Past sins are used to pressure and control members. The leaders decide how much information the group needs and expect members to report other’s misdemeanours.

    (3) Thought Control

    includes the group accepting the stated beliefs as “truth.” They are trained to see themselves in a good-versus-evil situation where every issue is simply black or white. Key words are adopted and used as “buzz words.” No criticism of the leaders or their doctrine is permitted and all alternative religious groups are seen as bad.

    (4) Emotional Control

    includes using any guilt they may feel about their thoughts, feelings, family or their past. Any problems individuals may be experiencing are to be seen as the fault of the one who has the problems. Fear is built up in the minds of the members by warning them of the dangers of the “outside” world and the enemies that surround them. Fear of losing the approval of the other members is a key factor in pressuring the members to continue. The members are indoctrinated to fear questioning the leaders or being made to leave the group as they are told they will have no future if they are outside the safety of the group. There is no legitimate reason for leaving and those that do must be shunned. Without the protection of the group they could be exposed to possession by demons.

    As you can see from the length of the last paragraph, fear is a prominent factor in keeping members of cults in line. As stated, these guidelines were not written with Jehovah’s Witnesses specifically in mind. These guidelines can be applied to any sect to determine whether or not that sect or religion is a cult.

  • Gadget
    The real defining hallmarks of a cult are either the consequential harm that results from group membership in the present

    You come up with this definition and still maintain that jws are not a cult? Unbelieveable.

  • zen nudist
    zen nudist

    not all JWs exhibt the "cult" mentality, but I started to get worried when my high school friend and "father" in the "troof" told me that if the word came from the governing body, that this is it! the long awaited end is here! go out and slaughter all the opposers! that he would do it without hesitation!

    I was saying to him, but how could they ever say such a thing which would contradict their biblical mandate?

    he seemed to believe that even thought they were not inspired, their being spirit directed made such possible and would have to be followed without question.

    years later near my end with the B.Org. 3 different elders on three different occations gave me the same mind numbing answers--

    I asked, what if you find something you disagree with the GB? what do you do, how do you handle it?, do you write them? do you just hope they will change it? alll three replied in 4th dimensional harmony

    I would NEVER presume to know more than the governing body! NEVER? did not seem to make them nervous that the GB admitted being fallible and JUST men one bit....NEVER!

  • Stress Free
    Stress Free

    Thanks undercover you summed up my thoughts exactly.

  • TooOpinionated

    Trevor-the page that you quoted is one I sent to our elders in our disassociation letter. I'm sure they never read it, but it sure felt good sending it. There is a small part of me that hopes that the one or 2 decent elders would read it and think for themselves, but I know it's wishful thinking.

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